U.S.-based multinational firms must be hyper-aware of global safety standards in order to compete, particularly in the manufacturing and continuous process automation industries, says the author. Not complying with local best practices can keep an OEM’s product out of a country. The majority of safety improvements are made in order to be compliant, not drive down the number of accidents, according to a study by Aberdeen.
Failure to comply with robotic safety standards will keep an OEM’s machinery out of the European Union, for example, while adoption of the ISA-95 standard for software development could stall when its complexity bumps up against manufacturing realities.
The reality of the importance of standards implementation and adherence to best practices is revealed in a 2011 Aberdeen report that states that improved safety practices for manufacturers is being driven by the “need to be in compliance with regulatory and safety standards.” Sixty-four percent of those surveyed agree with that statement, compared with only 49 percent who say “reducing the number of safety injuries/incidents” is what drives their compliance with best practices and standards.
“There still is a disconnect between business and manufacturing standards,” says Marc Leroux, chief technology evangelist at ABB. “While ISA-95 is robust and has proven efficiencies, it’s not universally recognized for its value at a corporate level, and an ERP system is owned at the corporate level.”